By their creation, human beings are social beings. Human being can’t live alone. He is in need of other human beings who will establish closeness and bonds with. On top of this, man is created weak and he is not capable of satisfying all his needs alone.

So human beings should live together as communities, they should help each other, and they should perform their duties to God together. The Messenger of Allah (saw) commands as follows: “The hand (help) of Allah is with the community. Whoever deserts the community ends up on the path to Hell.” (Tirmidhi). He (saw) said further: “Community is mercy, separation into factions is torment.” (Ahmad Bin Hanbal)

All the acts of worship such as praying in congregation, Friday prayer, festivity prayers, pilgrimage, obligatory alms giving, aiding with people’s livelihoods, sacrifice, and human relationships such as funeral ceremonies, weddings, visiting the ill, holding the relationship with the relatives strong, taking care of the needy always encourage people to be social. Of course, there are some troubles that arise when people interact. Patience and endurance are key. Islam promises great rewards to Muslims who live in a society and assume the burdens of people.

Our master the Prophet (saw) used to relate to all people kindly and never broke their hearts even though he used to be troubled by rude or blunt people. His uncle Abbas (ra) felt pity for the Prophet’s situation and said: “O Messenger of Allah! I see that people are troubling you, they are bothering you with the dust they are arising. Why don’t you set up a special tent and talk to people from there?” Our master (saw), who was sent as mercy to all the world, said: “No! Until Allah takes me from among them and leads me to serenity I will continue to be with them. It does not matter, let them step on my heels, pull my clothes, or bother me with the dust they are raising!” (Darimi, Muqaddimah)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) recommended the same thing to his nation by saying: “The Muslim who lives with people and endures the anguish that they cause is better than the Muslim who is not present with them and who avoids enduring the anguish.” (Tirmidhi)

Islam directs people to a dynamic life and social activities by ordering us to work to obtain sustenance, marry and have children, aid in people’s livelihood, be the giving hand, utilize time well, utilize the world as the place to earn the hereafter at a maximum level, declare truth to all humanity and lead them away from wrongs, defend material goods, life, chastity, the health of generations, and the country.

By inculcating that: “Whoever performs a good deed shall see its recompense and whoever performs an evil deed shall see its recompense even if the deed is in the size of an atom,” Islam facilitates a more careful, active, and alert life.

Islam grants an exceptional position and honor to human beings among all creation. In Noble Qur’an verses it is said that: “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.” (At-Tin: 4), and said: “We have honored the sons of Adam, provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of our creation.” (Al-Isra’: 70)

One day a funeral procession passed before of our Master the Messenger of Allah (saw). The Messenger of Allah (saw) stood up. It was said to him: “Messenger of Allah! It is the remains of a Jew! The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Is he not a human being?’” (Bukhari)

As can be seen, our Master the Prophet stood up with respect in the presence of a human being, who Allah Almighty created with great care. Thus, he showed that all human beings, not just the living ones, but also the dead ones are worth respecting.

Ya’la bin Murra (ra) said: “I accompanied our Master the Honorable Prophet (saw) on many military expeditions. When the Messenger of Allah (saw) came across any deceased human, he used to immediately order that it be buried, he would not ask whether he was a Muslim or disbeliever.” (hakim)

Islam views humanity as the rightful possessor of rights that are commensurate with its honor and dignity. According to Islam, the mere existence of a human being is a sufficient condition for it to have basic human rights. The scholars of Islamic law consider humanity – the characteristic of being human – as the essence of human rights. Consequently, they have adopted a universal approach and have never discriminated among human beings on the basis of religion, race, gender, class, and nationality.

by Dr. Murat Kaya